Museveni hails UTB for repackaging Uganda

In Summary
  • The new brand- Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, draws upon Uganda’s global reputation as one of the most endowed destinations, famous for its thousands of plant and wildlife attractions, as well as vast and beautiful landscapes, temperate climate, warm people, and cultural diversity.

President Museveni has hailed the Uganda Tourism Board over their creativity to brand Uganda as the number one, global tourist destination.

For two years, the country’s tourism industry was hit hard with a tremendous reduction in visitors both locally and internationally as a result of the pandemic.

But as it emerges from the shackles of different phases of the COVID-19 lockdown, the country has registered a global record on health safety in regard to how it handled the pandemic with few deaths recorded compared to the rest of the world.

During the unveiling of the new Uganda, call it, the brand identity; Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, the president revealed that he was approached by the UTB team led by Lilly Ajarova last year with a view that ‘visiting’ was not sufficient to brand Uganda but rather, ‘ Explore Uganda’.

“When they came to see me, I told them, what new thing are you coming to tell me? I have heard all these stories. They said, “No, we have come to tell you, the difference between visiting and exploring.” They said, with “visiting, you come and go, but with exploring, you come, you stay, you go and look.” I said, these people, they are putting a lot of concentration,” he remarked

According to Museveni, the country has a lot that has not been explored especially the Uganda and African way of life which has even more advantages that the world can learn from, especially how it has contributed to the fight against Covid-19 compared to Europe where the disease was largely devastating to older persons who are usually abandoned in elderly homes, away from family care, unlike in Africa.

Lillian Ajarova, the Uganda Tourism Board Executive Director, said that in 2019, many campaigns and other initiatives including those targeting domestic tourism, African Tourists, and the international ones, were starting to bear fruit, only for the trend to be reversed by COVID-19 adding that this time around they have made wide-reaching research and consultations before coming up with the brand message.

“If Uganda is a pearl of Africa, what pearls has it got to offer for each of the travel segments and preferences. There have been several efforts by different players, to create awareness at various levels with various levels of success but there has been a lack of single-mindedness messaging and or in the interpretation of what constitutes the pearl of Africa in a manner that makes it stand out to appeal to the various travel segments out there.”

She added that brand identity is important because it is made of attractions, accessibility, accommodation, amenities, and awareness which are packed in ways that are relevant and ultimately convincing that Uganda is the best destination in the world.

“Explore, Uganda the Pearl of Africa is an invitation to our tourists- both domestic, regional, and international to rediscover the magnificence of the Pearl. We are promising and inviting them to Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, for the adventure of their lifetime,” she said. During the unveiling, the president was assisted by Col. Rtd Tom Butime, Hon Martin Bahinduka Mugarra and Ms. Doreen Katusiime, the Cabinet, State Minister and Permanent Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Lilly Ajarova, and her Deputy, Mr. Bradford Ochieng; and the Board Chairman, Hon. Daudi Migereko together with other board members, at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.